Management Essay Example: Ethics and Leadership

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950 words
Boston College
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The term ethics characterizes a set of moral principles that govern a persons behavior when undertaking any activity. In an organization, a persons code of ethics incorporates his/her values, professional standards as well as morals (Flite & Harman, 2013, pp. 1). Today, ethics and ethical standards are key phenomena that all organizational leaders must possess when managing their organizations. Also, ethics is regarded to be a primary component of good governance (Downe, Cowell & Morgan, 2016, pp. 1). Becoming an ethical leader may mean going beyond the social expectations of a good person. This is because ethical leaders make ethics a clear and consistent part of their leadership agendas and models of appropriate behavior for holding all organizational personnel response. As such, good leaders must develop an ethical culture and enforce it to be part of their organizations personnel-related functions. Leadership effectiveness and decision making creativity are two key aspects possessed by an ethical leader in an organization.

Problem Description

After my undergraduate program, I attained a leadership position with the McDonalds branch near my region of residence. Moreover, I was the assistant manager at the human resource department in the company. I was occupying the position temporarily, sitting in for the departments human resource manager who was on sick leave. Additionally, when functioning in this position, I encountered a problem with five employees who were retailing some of the establishments take-outs without registering the sales with the establishments sales clerk. I confronted the responsible personnel about the ethical misconduct, and they owned up to their crime and begged me not to fire them.

Leadership Effectiveness

This is the first concept that I employed in addressing the problem I encountered at McDonald's. As a manager at the McDonalds branch, I knew how to play my role as a servant leader. This is because in addressing the problem, I exercised the quality of an effective leader by using good listening skills and maintaining my respect to the personnel despite their workplace misconduct. Good leadership and listening skills are also good qualities of an effective leader as supported by Kinicki & Fugate (2015)s publication (Kinicki & Fugate, 2015, pp.453). Additionally, despite my disapproval of the acts that were committed by the employees, as an ethical leader, I listened to their explanations pertaining the act before delivering a judgment.

Decision Making and Creativity

Decision making and creativity are key characteristics of an ethical leader functioning in a business organization. Additionally, when solving the problem at the McDonalds establishment, I used the evidence-based decision making (EBDM) methodology to develop a verdict for the problem. According to the Kinicki and Fugate (2015), this method entails a conscientious usage of data in formulating decisions (Kinicki & Fugate, 2015, pp. 398). In reference to the problem, I used the video surveillance data from the McDonalds to justify my claim that the identified workers were perpetrating an ethical crime against the establishment. Moreover, as a leader and decision maker at the establishment, I used creativity in formulating a decision for the problem.

Discussion of the Case Perspective

The decision made to solve the problem was the job termination of the involved personnel. In this case, I exercised leadership effectiveness by identifying and eradicating the problem completely from the organization. Additionally, in order to reach the verdict, I maintained respect and proper listening skills when talking about the problem with the involved workers. Furthermore, I employed creativity as a primary concept in enacting an evidence-based decision. This is by ensuring that sufficient evidence was employed to justify the decision I made against the employees caught perpetrating the McDonalds misconduct.

Ultimately, the decision made during this case was a good manifestation of perfect leadership. According to John and Chattopadhyay (2015), perfect leadership in an organization is imperative because it creates the smooth functioning of an organization, results in motivated employees (Chattopadhyay, 2015, pp.1). It also improves the overall effectiveness and performance of the organization (John & Chattopadhyay, 2015, pp.1). Moreover, such effective, ethical leadership can help a business to improve its performance and be innovative in its business environment (Hao & Yazdanifard, 2015, pp. 1). Lastly, as an ethical leader, the decision made was in consideration for the long-term consequences, benefits as well as drawbacks that the decision would make to the organization (Mihelic, Lipicnik, & Tekavcic, 2010, pp. 1).


In conclusion, ethics characterize the moral principles that govern a persons behavior when undertaking any activity. Today, ethics and ethical standards are key phenomena that all organizational leaders must possess when managing their organizations. Additionally, in making decisions, a good leader must portray leadership effectiveness, and creativity in their decision making process. This is because the two aspects are a good manifestation of perfect leadership and they also improve the overall effectiveness and performance of the organization



Downe, J., Cowell, R., & Morgan, K. (2016). What Determines Ethical Behavior in Public Organizations: Is It Rules or Leadership? Public Administration Review, 76(6), 898-909. doi:10.1111/puar.12562

Flite, C. A., & Harman, L. B. (2013). Code of Ethics: Principles for Ethical Leadership. Online Research Journal: Perspectives in Health Information Management / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association. Retrieved from

Hao, M. J., & Yazdanifard, R. (2015). How Effective Leadership Can Facilitate Change In Organizations Through Improvement and Innovation. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: An Administration and Management, 15(9). doi:10.17406/GJMBR

Kinicki, A., & Fugate, M. (2016). Organizational Behavior: A Practical, Problem-Solving Approach. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill.

Mihelic, K. K., Lipicnik, B., & Tekavcic, M. (2010). Ethical Leadership. International Journal of Management and Information Systems, 14(5). doi:10.19030/ijmis.v14i5.11

S, J., & P, C. (2015). Factors Impacting Leadership Effectiveness: A Literature Review. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 156. Retrieved from



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